By Eddie PatersonPoetryWhitmore Press


redactor uses found texts from the everyday – emails, memos, notes, lyrics, text messages, tweets, webfeeds – as poetic material. Drawing on techniques from the visual arts and radical writing such as the ready-made, the cut-up and the concrete poem, Eddie Paterson reflects upon the ways in which the historical legacy of censorship intersects with contemporary surveillance technologies. In an era in which former US President George W. Bush’s favourite writing tool was the black Sharpie marker, redactor is a language trash-compactor where the banal and the brilliant meet.

Portrait of Eddie Paterson

Eddie Paterson

Eddie Paterson is a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne, managing co-editor of Five Islands poetry press, and the author of The Contemporary American Monologue (2015) and Gameshow. Gameshow. (2012) for the Vagabond Press Rare Objects series.

Judges’ report

These days our text communication is live-edited by autocorrect, where we can dictate a WhatsApp message or compose predictive emails or texts under the table. Most of the time we press send without even looking. We’re then at the mercy of what these apps decide is our intent, forwarding our thoughts as filtered through the crudest end of AI, often leaving us unretractably expressing ourselves in an idiot tongue. redactor is a self-censoring pudding. A hilarious, politically alive vivid experiment. It’s a hand-held guide to finding the twisted wonderful poetry in every banal word we employ. 


bureau of statistics

31 australians have died

since 1996 watering

their christmas tree while

the fairy lights were plugged in

19 australians have died

in the last 3 years by eating

christmas decorations they believed were

chocolate hospitals reported 4 broken

arms last year after cracker pulling incidents

101 australians since 1997 have had to

have broken parts of plastic toys pulled out of the soles of their feet                                 

18 australians had serious burns in 1998

trying on a new jumper

with a lit cigarette in their mouth

543 australians were admitted

to casualty in the last 2 years after opening bottles

of beer with their teeth or eye socket

5 australians were injured last year

in accidents involving out of control

remote control cars

3 australians die each year testing if a 9V battery works on their tongue

142 australians were injured in 1998

by not removing all the pins

from new shirts

58 australians are injured

each year by using sharp knives instead of


8 australians cracked their skull in 1997

after falling asleep (passing out)

while throwing up

into the toilet.


agoraphobic love®

now have you been out in peak hour & pushed onto the train by the men in

the white gloves one day hope to be i am taller on the train & breathe above the heads of men

had a lovely conversation with ███ about the merits of ‘special’ underwear & why one should purchase such a thing then about novelty symbol toasters to imprint your bread haven’t left the house in four days scared to go out wait for the mailman like the fri ckin  & when i hear his little bike i shuffle to the front door & see if anyone has written to me ██ or run off with a mexican musican named leon are you having a nice time? your brother hasn’t called & ███ neither & how can i entertain if i don’t have you around to facilitate the introductions thought i saw ███ on the tram the other day

went to approach then ... whey back there boyo, that’s not ██n ██ but a rather scary



with a beard been listening to the cure such is the way of things

marianne faithfull sends her love.

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist